The chances are that if you visit Provence from mid-June to mid-August – you have lavender on your mind and in your sights.
Though Provence is well known for the fragrant purple blooms, it is not grown in abundance throughout the whole of Provence, though you will find fields of the purple blooms during your travels from one village to another.
The Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque may be the most iconic vision of lavender in Provence. This ancient Abbey, in the rocky valley below Gordes provides a glimpse of what Provence lavender is all about, though it’s certainly a must visit and fabulous photo opportunity. Not to mention, with the proximity to Gordes, a great way to start the journey to a lavender day with a typically scrumptious lunch in somewhere like Saint Saturnin les-Apt. On a hot and still afternoon, you’ll welcome the refreshment.
A short drive from here (and you really do need wheels to see the lavender) in fact just a few minutes away, on a curve in the road lies a valley between Monieux and Sault. It’s high up and the sight of the lavender below will take your breath away! The entire valley below seems to resemble a patchwork quilt of farms blanketed in purple rows. Travel further on to follow the road to the valley below and you won’t be disappointed! Looking just as you hope it does after seeing the most beautiful photos in books and magazines – this real-life sight is simply stunning. The air is intoxicatingly full of the fragrance, the humming of bees in these fields is the precursor to the honey you can buy at local market to drizzle on your warm croissants at breakfast.
The village of Sault is also a must stop on the journey, and a great place to have lunch. There’s a popular little café here, La Promenade de Justin perched on the north wall of the village facing Mount Ventoux. In front is an area where the popular game of Boules may be played under the Plane trees. Just order the Plat du Jour, you will not be disappointed, the view is the best in town.
By Don Lippencott
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